Director of the National Maritime Museum in Gdańsk Dr Robert Domżał appointed for a second term of office
On 10 October 2023, by decision of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage, Dr Robert Domżał was reappointed Director of the National Maritime Museum in Gdańsk. Thus, the management of the NMM, which began in 2019, is extended for another seven years, and the mission and development of the Museum carried out so far will continue.
Dr Robert Domżał, taking over from Jerzy Litwin, Ph.D., is the fourth director in the over 60-year history of the National Maritime Museum in Gdańsk. Director Domżał’s first term of office, which lasted five years, was a time of both far-reaching, ambitious undertakings and facing unprecedented challenges in extremely difficult years. Carrying out a thorough renovation of the 1940s steam-powered collier Sołdek, today a museum ship, together with the creation of a new permanent exhibition; the ongoing renovation of the 15th-century Crane in Gdańsk, the largest since the 1960s; construction of a new branch: the Museum of Underwater Archaeology and Baltic Fisheries in Łeba – these are just some of the projects accomplished or implemented by a team of several hundred people under the leadership of Director Domżał. During the passing term, the NMM gained the competence to conduct the affairs of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage concerning the provisions of the UNESCO 2001 Convention on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage, and Dr Robert Domżał was elected as the first Polish representative to the The Scientific and Technical Advisory Body (STAB) of the aforementioned Convention. The NMM Director also serves as a member of the Council for Museums and National Memorial Sites, and represents the Museum in the Maritime Convention, an advisory body to the Minister of Infrastructure. This intensive development of the institution managed by Dr Domżał and the implementation of its many tasks fell during the challenging period of the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent war in Ukraine. These circumstances forced the institution to implement temporary restrictions on its operations and ongoing investments, as well as to adapt new tasks related to national security and support for the citizens and cultural institutions of Ukraine. In light of this, the NMM’s achievements to date fill us with justified pride and allow us to look to the future with optimism. The coming years will be a time of further major undertakings for the director and the NMM team: as early as the first half of 2024, the renovation of the Crane will be completed, where visitors will be able to see a completely new, innovative permanent exhibition. And in 2026, work on the construction and arrangement of the exhibition at the Museum of Underwater Archaeology and Baltic Fisheries in Łeba – one of the largest and most modern museums currently under construction in Poland – will have its grand finale. Two important projects recently initiated by the NMM – the Underwater Wreck Warehouse in Gdańsk Bay and the Museum of Polish Sailing in Władysławowo – will enter the next phases of implementation. The institution’s competencies with regard to the 2001 UNESCO Convention will also be developed. In the next few years the NMM also intends to build a new exhibition hall at the Museum of the Vistula Lagoon in Kąty Rybackie and to carry out a number of promotional and educational activities on the historic yacht “Mazurek”. The latter also on an international scale.
Dr Robert Domżał, is a certified curator, archaeologist, historian and museologist. He has been affiliated with the National Maritime Museum in Gdańsk since 1996. Within the structures of the institution he worked, among others, as Head of the History of Shipbuilding Department and Plenipotentiary for the Development of the Vistula Lagoon Museum. From 2007 to 2014, he served as Chairman of the Working Group on Baltic Region Heritage Committee (BRHC), and from 2009 to 2017 he was a member of the Board of the International Congress of Maritime Museums, affiliated to ICOM. Has been an individual member of the National Committee ICOM POLSKA (ICOM Poland) for many years. Since 2018, he has participated in meetings of the Council for Museums and National Memorial Sites within the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. He is Chairman of the Council of the Museum of Archaeology and History in Elblag and a member of the Council of the Museum of Polish Arms in Kołobrzeg. He has been a member of many programme boards and a participant in national and international conferences on history and archaeology. He is also the author of numerous scientific and popular science publications, including those printed in the annual “Muzealnictwo”. Dr Domżał is involved in didactic projects at the University of Gdańsk, Gdańsk University of Technology, Gdynia Maritime University and the Polish Naval Academy in Gdynia.